In 2003, when GGV invested in an online shopping platform started by a little-known English teacher in Hangzhou called Jack Ma, it was seen as a reckless bet. China’s e-commerce market was unproven, and any local company would need to contend with the big boy from the US, Ebay. Never one to fear competition with Americans, the ambitious Ma told Forbes in 2005 that “We want to be the world’s largest consumer site.”
This may have sounded funny at the time, but it’s not any more. On August 18, Alibaba emerged as one of the world’s most valuable companies with its market capitalization surpassing $400 billion - on track to rival that of Amazon’s. Tencent, which owns the ubiquitous WeChat (which gobbles up over a third of all mobile time in China) and numerous popular online games, also saw its value surge past $400 billion last week. Doing business in China can be a high-risk enterprise, but those willing to take a leap of faith are often rewarded handsomely.
This article was originally shared by Hans Tung and Zara Zhang on August 28, 2017 via Linkedin.